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Aired on the 1-2-3 show on RTHK 3 – July 11, 2014  –

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Opening the 2014 International Arts Carnival is the National Folk Ensemble of Croatia. They are called LADO, a word meaning good, kind and nice. But audiences who have seen Lado’s show, however, usually find words such as amazing and exhilarating more suitable to describe the show.

Over 50 dancer-vocalists and musicians will be on stage at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for three days from tonight bringing some of Croatia’s rich cultural heritage to Hong Kong through dance and song.

I met with the ensemble’s director, Kresimir Dabo, who told me about Lado’s history, the unique costumes and the meaning of the songs and dances.

One of the things that makes Lado’s performance unique is the sheer number of participants on stage. All dancers must also be able to sing and they are accompanied by musicians on stage. Together they depict traditional village scenes such as the harvest or a wedding through intricate dance steps, distinct sounds and unique instruments.

LADO

When Lado take to the stage on Friday, some members of the audience will really be able to appreciate just how much preparation goes into learning all the dance steps. This is because they participated in one of the dance workshops taught by Lado performers.

I went along to a workshop for Hong Kong children to see how they were doing and spoke to Barry Ng of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Speaking once more with the group’s Director Kresimir dabo, I asked him what Lado represents and what they hope to achieve by touring the world.

Lado will be on stage at the Hong Kong Cultural Center from July 11th until the 13th.